Arctic Cruise Adventure Trip Log ( 17 - 31 Jul, 2017) - Tuesday, Jul 25

Tuesday, July 25: At Sea for Jan Mayen
January 2018

Today we enjoy an extra hour of sleep as we set the clocks back, waking up to a leisurely ride on the flat-calm Arctic Ocean. Shortly after breakfast, Captain Garcia announces more whales just off the ship. This time, those on deck catch a glimpse of one of the more uncommon species of Arctic whale: the Northern Bottlenose! Found in the deepest waters of the world’s oceans, the bottlenose whale is a member of the elusive family of beaked whales, notorious for being difficult to find and research. Whales continue to be spotted sporadically as we approach Jan Mayen, and we are also treated to the spectacular view of this oceanic volcano’s summit. Just after noon, we are able to make landfall on Jan Mayen, becoming the first Abercrombie & Kent guests to ever land on this remote island! We explore the beach and walk among gardens of rocky basalt spires formed by cooling magma. Hardy plants cover the barren soil, providing periodic bursts of green among the dark ashen rock. Some of us take the time to visit the Norwegian station, where we collect souvenirs and get an insider’s glimpse into the lives of the researchers — between 18 and 30 — who spend part of their summer on this dramatic island.

In the afternoon, our naturalists Patri, Sabina and Jason lead nature walks around the island, pointing out some of the fascinating creatures that call Jan Mayen home. A colony of a few thousand little auks offers a constant chatter from the rocky slopes above, and groups of red knot, purple sandpiper and ruddy turnstones feed on wave-sculpted shorelines. Northern fulmar and other seabirds speed past us on the zodiacs as we return to the ship, and we finish our day impressed with the abundance of life, despite the fact that we are hundreds of miles from the nearest land! We finish our day by welcoming two Norwegian researchers aboard, who will join us for the remainder of our adventure. Our expedition leader Matt Drennan finishes up our day with a few words on the Greenlandic village of Ittoqqortoormiit, which we hope to visit tomorrow, sea and ice conditions permitting. Visiting this primarily Inuit village will provide a cultural contrast to the research station at Jan Mayen, and we are anxious to visit this incredibly distant community!

Click Here to read 'Wednesday, July 26: Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland'